From education to employment

Commitment to study makes a mother’s career dreams of teaching come true 

A single mother of three children has praised the support from her tutors in enabling her to achieve her career dreams. 

Anaum Rafiq, 35, who lives in Manchester, juggled studying with raising her family in her goal to work in education. She wanted to make her father proud of her achievements and set a positive example to her children of what hard work can achieve. 

Anaum completed six years of study starting with a Level Three Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools followed by the Foundation Degree in Arts (FDA) in Teaching Assistance at Tameside College, a partner college of the University of Chester. She then studied for two more years to complete the BA (Hons) Level Six top-up with the University. 

Anaum came to the UK in 2010 from Pakistan after getting married and has three children aged 12, 11 and eight. She has a degree in Education and Psychology from the University of Punjab Lahore Pakistan. After experiencing tough times in her personal life, Anaum decided to enrol in education in the UK as it was her father’s dream for her to work as a teacher or lecturer and she wanted to use the degree she had gained in Pakistan. 

Through the advice and guidance of her tutors at Tameside College, Anaum was able to pursue her studies to degree level at the University. 

She said: “I consider myself the luckiest student as I had the privilege to study under the guidance of my tutors Paula Stinchcombe and Dr Chandrika Devarakonda. Chandrika has also played a significant role in motivating me and other students during our learning journey and because of these tutors and mentors, people like me prosper and thrive.” 

Anaum is now working as a SEND practitioner and behaviour mentor in a school and as well as studying for a PGCE in Lifelong Learning. She then plans to work as a teacher and is completing her placement at Tameside College. 

She said: “Being able to complete my studies at evening classes as a part-time student was so helpful to me as a mother. My children are so proud of all I have achieved.”  

Dr Chandrika Devarakonda, Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Chester, said:

“Anaum is an inspirational role model and has worked hard to fulfil her dreams. She is resilient and dedicated to complete her studies juggling being a busy mum and an enthusiastic student and achieving her career goals. We are so proud of her and know she’ll make a wonderful teacher.” 

Paula Stinchcombe, FDA programme leader and Course Tutor from Tameside College added:

“Anaum has demonstrated a clear commitment to her academic studies, working hard over the past six years. She has shown grit and determination to succeed. I believe she will be a welcome addition to the teaching profession.” 

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